Are you prone to getting anxiety attacks while driving? So was I. This is a common occurrence that you don’t need to feel ashamed about. I did for a long time, and it only made things worse. You can read my story here. Because so many people suffer from anxiety attacks while driving, I decided to offer some helpful tips for dealing with them.
Anxiety attacks while driving can be scary, because sometimes we’re unsure how our bodies will react. Many of us struggle with fear we may pass out or go insane, although this rarely (if ever) happens.
Fortunately, there are ways of getting through these anxiety attacks. While driving can be stressful in itself, those of us who struggle with anxiety feel the pain in a whole different way.
Getting Though Anxiety Attacks While Driving
- Be prepared — I’ve found it’s always best to be prepared, just in case you get overwhelmed when anxiety strikes. Before you drive off, make sure you have a paper bag and a bottle of water in the car with you. That way, should you get an attack, you have a couple of tools to help you relax.
- Avoid future tripping — This is when we think about what might happen, usually while imagining the worst possible outcome. These kinds of thoughts trap us deep in our heads, allowing fear to take control of us. Do your best to let those fearful thoughts go once you enter your car. Stay present in the moment using mindfulness. Mindfulness exercises can help you quickly shut off your anxiety attacks while driving, and is a powerful weapon against anxiety when used properly.
- Use positive affirmations — Positive affirmation for driving anxiety disorder are a great way to keep your mind occupied with positive thoughts instead of fearful ones. Try saying things like: “I’m okay,” “I’m safe,” and “Nothing bad is happening right now.” Use any affirmations that work best for you.
- Pull over if necessary — A lot of people ask me if it’s okay to pull over when they feel overwhelmed. Yes, it’s absolutely okay to pull over if you need to. Give yourself credit for getting as far as you did, and take some time to decompress. Where appropriate, try getting out of the car and taking a walk. Getting fresh air is a great way to calm your nerves and clear your anxiety.
- Listen to calming music — Listening to music that puts you in a happy place is another great way to dial down your anxiety while driving. Focus on the feeling the music brings up in you. Pay attention to that good feeling, and try keeping your mind there until you arrive at your destination.
These are just a few tricks to help you get through anxiety attacks while driving. If you need more help, feel free to contact me anytime. Or check out the Driving Peace program for a more in depth approach to healing driving anxiety.
PS – Do you have other tips for getting through anxiety attacks while driving? Please share them with us on Facebook. I’d love to hear more about your experience.